The realism of Alex Sturrock’s photography is most evident in his latest project, 'Boxers', a large colour book published by Ally Capellino. The book is comprised of photographs of various boxers, at different stages in their lives, accompanied by a short biography of each (ex-)athlete. Some younger generation boxers see the sport as a pathway to Olympic success, while others focus on the community aspect of the sport. The photographs maintain Sturrock’s natural, un-staged style and reinforce the narrative behind each image. Here, Sturrock chats to Dazed Digital about his insightful project which highlights the positive impact of boxing through generations.
Dazed Digital: Why boxing?
Alex Sturrock: I was approached by Ally through Guy Gormley, who I've worked with before and who basically acted as producer for the book, the subject matter came from Ally. I really enjoy photographing people, and their habits and hobbies and I felt this was an extension of that.
DD: What about your experience of the project stood out for you?
Alex Sturrock: I went to an event put on by the Freddie Mills club with Guy and Thomas Bush (who designed the book), it turned out to be an amazing experience. It was basically a charity night for a social club for people with special needs, and the main event is ex-boxers fighting with the members of the club. Its a bit like a classic thrown wrestling match where everything is overacted for the enjoyment and amusement of the club members and the people that come along to support the night. At first it was quite a lot to get your head around, but the reality of it is that everyone involved is having a great time and there is a bond between the people there, some of which are ex-boxers, some family, some carers, and the members of the club.
DD: Your photography has a very natural feel...
Alex Sturrock: I try to keep photos honest, but I'm not sure if there is more truth in them than anyone else’s. I do think that the more effort you put in to making something honest or 'real' generally the further you get from the truth, not just morally but aesthetically as well. I think that if you fail to catch something as it happens you have to let go of it, as hard as that is.